Sketch of Androscoggin River, ca. 1830Item 25774 info
Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library
The Androscoggin River, from its source in the Rangeley Lakes to its outlet in Merrymeeting Bay, drops 1,500 vertical feet.
Those drops, often in scenic falls, such as Great Falls in Lewiston-Auburn painted by Josiah Spooner Swift in 1830, are excellent sources of waterpower, and drew industry to the rivers' shores beginning in the early nineteenth century -- and settlements, which also brought sources of pollution, even earlier.